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Qatar to attend Gulf Cooperation Council summit but no end to blockade in sight


Qatar to attend Gulf Cooperation Council summit but no end to blockade in sight

GCC Kuwait summit
GCC Kuwait summit
Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty

Today, leaders from the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council will gather in Kuwait for their annual summit. If Qatar attends, today’s meeting will be just the second time in six months that GCC representatives have agreed to be in the same room.

Regardless, the odds of any resolution to the crisis remain slim. Bahrain, which has recently escalated tension by questioning Qatari ownership of the long-disputed Hawar Islands, has vowed to boycott the summit if Doha attends.

Although the initial shock of the crisis slowed Qatari economic growth last quarter to a measly 0.6%, the economy has slowly begun to recover. The emirate has successfully rerouted trade and financial corridors through Turkey, Iran and Oman, circumventing much of the Saudi-led blockade and giving Doha less reason to submit to Riyadh’s demands/

Although Qatar will likely accept Kuwait’s invitation to the summit, expect a Bahraini boycott and little productive conversation between the opposing sides. The continued breakdown of the GCC is likely only to benefit Riyadh’s enemies as it scrambles to marshal an anti-Iranian coalition.

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